Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review: The Dragon Heir by Cinda Williams Chima


Title: The Dragon Heir

Author: Cinda Williams Chima

Score: 5 stars (out of 5)

Review: In the war raging across the splintered Wizard world, Jason Haley is determined to prove himself a big player. Risking imprisonment, death, and perhaps far worse, he braves enemy territory in England, where he stumbles upon an age-old hoard of artifacts—weapons that may turn the tide in team Trinity’s favor. Among Jason’s cache of mystic firepower is the Dragonheart, a stone powerful enough to rule the magical Guilds—or destroy them.

In the conclusion to Chima’s Heir trilogy, the author masterfully brings the escalating conflict to a head. The first two books flirted with the idea of an all-out war, but that nightmare is fully realized in this the finale. The stakes are high, the consequences severe. And our band of adolescent heroes is forced to face life, love, and loss all too quickly as adults.

Chima gracefully weaves the intertwining plotlines and agendas, making us privy to the thoughts and motivations of the entire suite of main characters. Although our journey begins with Jason, we get to see the war through the eyes of many other players, both old and new, as the plot progresses. The author stays true to the personalities she established in the prior books. Jack is still the story’s white knight (flaming sword included), Ellen is as spunky as ever, and Seph’s sense of duty hangs even heavier over his heart. Thankfully, the author’s presentation allows these layers to enrich the story without becoming overly complex or disjointed.

One of the book’s most intriguing undercurrents is the moral ambiguity of the characters’ personalities and decisions. None of the “good guys” are spotless, and most of the villains will somehow appeal to your sympathies. The choices these people must make are tough, and you can’t help but give pause, wondering whether you would act as they did.

The Dragon Heir is true to its legacy of eloquent, enrapturing storytelling. This is a fantasy book of epic proportions, laced with themes as real and personal as anything you’ve ever experienced.

3 comments:

  1. Glad you loved this series, we'll have to discuss some time. :)

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  2. I think the cover of this one is horrid, but your review sold me on giving the book a try. I do like the cover on The Wizard Heir.

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  3. Lol, you'll understand the significance if/when you read it. Each of the book covers features a very key object in the story. I agree that The Wizard Heir cover is better looking. Not as sexy as Hush, Hush, though. And I'm okay with that. :)

    Glad my review made a difference for ya. :)

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